Bohemians enjoyed a relatively easy night at Dalymount Park as they totally out played a disappointing Avondale United side. Their one-nil win now means Bohemians go into the draw for the FAI Cup quarter finals with their hopes for silverware this season still very much alive.
The Gypsies did not take long to get the first half-chance of the game. After only three minutes Dave Scully was taken down on the left hand side of the Avondale box, from the resultant Danny Joyce free, Scully almost ghosted in at the back post. However, he couldn’t direct his attempted poked effort on target.
Avondale created their own first chance one minute later when Mark O’ Sullivan headed just over the bar as the game got of to a lively start.
Bohs were presented with a great opportunity after 11 minutes to take the lead when Danny Long handled in the box. After initial hesitation from referee Tom Connolly, the linesman’s flag made up his mind and the penalty was awarded. Dave Scully stepped up to take the penalty and his shot although powerful was at a good height for David O’Keeffe to make an impressive save.
The drama was not to end there as on 24 minutes Bohemians were awarded another penalty. Evan McMillan was pushed in the back by Declan Cahill and for the second time in the first-half the referee pointed to the penalty spot. Bohemians changed penalty taker but the result was the same as O’Keeffe saved again this time from Danny Joyce. Michael Barker blasted another shot in from the rebound but O’Keeffe recovered to punch away.
After riding their luck and maintaining parity with Bohemians, Avondale suffered a setback on 38 minutes when they lost defender Michael Mulconry to injury. He left the field to be replaced by Kevin Mulcahy after a nasty clash of heads with Evan McMillan, which stopped the game for a number of minutes and left Mulconory dazed and bloodied.
Avondale had another lucky escape on 42 minutes when Declan Cahill almost headed into his own net from a Keith Buckley cross. It only took another minute for Avondale’s nine lives to run out as the corner that followed led to Bohemians taking the lead.
Joyce floated in the corner and McMillan headed goalwards, O’Keeffe got a hand to the ball but it was not a strong one and he couldn’t stop the ball from crossing the line. Bohs had one more chance in injury time of the first half when Derek Pender’s speculative lob was tipped over by David O’Keefe in the Avondale goal.
Avondale needed a fast start in the second half but the first ten minutes were played out in a lacklustre fashion as Bohemians looked comfortable in possession and protected their lead. The first opening of the second half did not arrive until the 57th minute when Derek Pender jinked around a number of players and got into a dangerous position in the Avondale box. His cross was disappointing and went straight into the hands of David O’Keeffe.
The non-league Cork side tried to force their way into the game and won a corner on 65 minutes. The cross from Kevin Mulcahy caused some panic in the Bohemians box when Andy McNulty could only punch the ball away, but it was eventually cleared before any real danger. The game started to lose shape and Danny Joyce’s wild free blasted over the bar on 70th minutes was symptomatic of the malaise that had taken hold in the game.
The Gypsies started to pick up the pace again and had a chance to extend their lead on 74 minutes when Dave Mulcahy found Dave Scully. His shot on goal brought another good save from O’Keeffe.
Despite Bohs being the dominant team at one-nil there was always a chance that Avondale could get back into it. On the 79th minute they almost did get an equaliser, with a long range shot from Kevin Mulcahy bringing a save from Andy McNulty.
This was a brief foray forward for the Cork men as five minutes later Bohemians were almost in again. Evan McMillan turned brilliantly in the box and bore down on goal, only to see his shot saved by O’Keeffe, who was performing miracles in the visitors goal.
In injury time McMillan had another shot saved by O’Keeffe as Bohs tried desperately to wrap up the tie.
This was to be the last chance of the game as Bohemians progressed to the quarter-final stage of the FAI Cup for the third time in a row.
Bohemians: Andy McNulty; Derek Pender, Owen Heary, Kevin Feely, Roberto Lopes; Danny Joyce, Michael Barker, Dave Mulcahy; Evan McMillan, Dave Scully, Keith Buckley.
Subs not used: Craig Sexton (GK), Karl Moore, Keith Ward, Dinny Corcoran, Stephen Traynor, John O’Connor, Andy Mulligan.
Bookings: Feely (90+2)
Avondale United: David O’Keeffe; Dave Spratt, Declan Cahill, Michael Mulconry (Kevin Mulcahy 38) Mark Horgan, Eoghan Lougheed; Karl Caufield, Brian Murphy, Danny Long (Ian Stapleton 64); Conor Meade (Kenny Murphy 80), Mark O’Sullivan.
Subs not used: Daniel O’Leary (GK), Michael Doody.
Bookings: Cahill (24).
Referee: Tom Connolly
Extratime.ie man of the match: David O’Keeffe (Avondale United).
Paul Walsh is a part-time freelance journalist based in Dublin and freelancing for a number of publications. Follow him on twitter @walshpots